Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Our Love Could Light The World : What She Read Review

Sample it at Amazon and Parrish's blog.
I seem to be on a roll this month:  superior book after superior book has graced my pile.

Our Love Could Light the World by Anne Leigh Parrish keeps my winning streak alive. 

The genre is short fiction - my admitted favorite - in this case, a series of stories linked to form the vividly dimensional portrait of a working class family from upstate New York.

Realistic, sure-handed, darkly humorous, and perfectly spare, Parrish's prose illuminates the lives of divorced and upwardly grasping manufactured-home-saleswoman Lavinia, her layabout ex-husband Potter Dugan, their in-laws, their neighbors, and their children.  As the lives of the immediate Dugan family unfold, each family member becomes the protagonist and perspective-bearer of a separate story, creating a richly rounded and realistically evolving vision of the inevitable emotional complexities of everyday lives. 

As I inhaled these stories, I recalled notes of Flannery O'Connor particularly - there's the spectre of her Southern Gothic about the perspectives and darkly comic plots of some of these tales - as well as Alice Munroe, Charles Baxter and even James Joyce.  You'll find others to which this stellar collection might be compared, I'm sure, whether Parrish intended such comparisons or no.

One wish:  That Ms. Parrish had chosen a title for this collection that better captures the tone of these stories.  My students smirked when they noted this title, incorrectly assuming that I was uncharacteristically indulging in some sort of 'inspirational' fiction.  I wouldn't be surprised if others smirked as well, and skipped an otherwise worthy collection.

Truly, you must disregard all such incorrect assumptions and sample these stories, appropriate for older (or emotionally mature) teens and up, and sure to be savored by all.


Many thanks, as is often the case, to the folks at TLC Book Tours, for recalling my taste for great short fiction and offering this for my perusal.  The link above will take you to additional tour stops so you can sample other bloggers' reviews of Our Love Could Light the World.

Bonus Action Possibility:  Parrish resides just an hour or two south of me, in Seattle.  Mayhaps she'll consent to an interview over coffee or a walk in the park one day this summer. 


Anne Leigh Parrish said...

I would love to get together with you! You're in Bellingham, right? My kids go to college in Olympia, so I'm usually heading south on I-5, and it would be great to go the other way, for a change. When the bridge over the Skagit is up again, that is!

I'll drop you a note.

And I can't thank you enough for your great review of my book.

- Anne Leigh Parrish

LisaMM said...

Laurie! I'm so glad you enjoyed this collection. Thank you so much for being on the tour and sharing your thoughts with your readers.

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